To sit by the fire in the old family cellar of Lara and Marko Zgrablić is a sheer pleasure of Istrian winter. The young couple invited us to try their best product – the only wines produced in Sveti Petar u Šumi. The name of the place derives from the monastery historically known as Monasterium Sancti Petri in Sylvis (meaning in the woods). Thus, Zgrablićs decided to call their winery In Sylvis. And it fits perfectly!
Lara and Marko started their winery back in 2014, when they revived family’s vine and olive grove. The vineyard is also close to the woods, just as the town itself, so the symbolic is not only a coincidence. Zgrablić family cares or the wine with a particular Istrian spirit and they succeed in it. The traditional Istrian hospitality merges with particular aroma and scents of this wine which, as all Istrian wines, has its own personality.
In the old stone cellar, Lara Grablić offers us classics of Istrian appetizers: excellent local prosciutto (this is the region of prime prosciutto producers in Istria), some local cheese, and salted fish. Old photos stare at us from the walls which is adorned with a large Istrian flag, featuring a goat, symbol of Istria. On the other side, fire cracks and gives warmth to the cold stone room. It is a picturesque scene of rural Istria and the very ecstasy of the experience is when first bottle is opened.
First we try the fresh Malvasia, traditional white wine of Istrian region, but with a special twist as the position and climate of vineyard is certainly specific on the peninsula. The area is quite in the north, surrounded by woods and with lots of wind, but nevertheless the Zgrablić family succeeded in making a good Malvasia, with lots of freshness and fruit aromas for a typical leisure wine. Even better is the Arbor Malvasia (arbor means a tree in Latin), an elaborative and aged Malvasia which has a tremendous effect of all those wines that fermented in oak barrels. Its golden colour and deeper notes of vanilla and nuts give soft wine with a durable aftertaste.
But our favourite wine of this winery is Cabernet Sauvignon. One fells in love with its intense ruby colour and even more with its soft and balanced fruity flavours evoking blackberries and red currant. A definitive wine for enjoyment in our subjective way of thinking is blessed with full and long taste, perfect for evening enjoyments and intimate gatherings. If you’re into red wines, you should definitely try this one.
Apart from 1,2 ha of vineyard, the couple also cares for 15 olive trees with an autochthonic Istrian bjelica sort, 15 fig trees, and also raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, lavender and rosemary bushes. The rural idyll can be visited in small groups and individually, have a delicious wine tasting and feel the magic so typical for the Central Istria. Your guides will be highly educated and hospitable married couple that enjoys every bit of life in this region, magical for every gastronaut.
You cannot miss the signs pointing you to the vineyard in forest, but in any case, you should visit their website and head to the unique winery in Sveti Petar u Šumi:
GSM: +385 98 9475 313 \ +385 99 8744 262